On Sunday night, Hayao Miyazaki’s latest movie, The Boy and the Heron, became the first non-English language movie to win the Golden Globe Award for best animated feature.

The Boy and the Heron’s Box Office Domination

Released in July last year, the story follows a young boy who is sent to the countryside after losing his mother during World War II and discovers a fantasy world. The movie received mixed reviews upon its release, with some Ghibli fans decrying it as a semi-collage of past characters and stories. Yet there were even more fans who loved the film, seeing it as a semi-autobiographical farewell to the Ghibli franchise from its co-founder.

The Boy and the Heron was released with zero fanfare, just a title and teaser poster, in stark contrast to the furor which surrounded some of the other nominees. Despite this, on its opening weekend, it became the highest grossing movie at the Japanese box office, raking in ¥2.14 billion ($5.46 million) in the first four days following its release. When it opened in December in the U.S., the movie grossed $12.8 million, becoming the first animated picture to reach number one at the box office on its opening weekend.

Nobody from Ghibli studio was available to accept the prize in person, but producer and co-founder Toshio Suzuki did release a statement: “This is the first Golden Globe awarded to a Studio Ghibli film, and it is a very special feeling. Since the beginning of this year, Japan has been hit by a series of tragic earthquakes and accidents… In such a situation, I hope the bright news of winning an award can bring a smile to everyone’s face, even if only a little.”

boy and the heron wins golden globle

Oppenheimer star Cillian Murphy | Image by Denis Makarenko via Shutterstock

Oppenheimer Wins Five Awards

The big winner on the night was Oppenheimer, which picked up five awards, including Best Motion Drama Picture. Cillian Murphy and Robert Downey Jr. received Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor gongs in a drama film, while Christopher Nolan won Best Director. Oppenheimer‘s other award came in the Best Original Score category, which went to Ludwig Göransson. Anatomy of a Fall, The Holdovers, Poor Things and Barbie all picked up two awards. Lily Gladstone (Killers of the Flower Moon) went home with the Best Actress prize.

In the television categories, Succession was named Best Drama for a third time. Three cast members of the satirical show about the super-wealthy and dysfunctional Roy family also picked up awards — Kieran Culkin (Best Actor), Sarah Snook (Best Actress) and Matthew Macfadyen (Best Supporting Actor). Other actors recognized on the night included Steven Yeun and Ali Wong from the limited series Beef, Jeremy Allen White and Ayo Edebiri from the American comedy drama The Bear and The Crown‘s Elizabeth Debicki. The Best Performance in Stand-Up Comedy on Television went to Ricky Gervais for Ricky Gervais: Armageddon.

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